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OutZone fundraising mission to save essential services for all

News Release 20/05/09

Gay and bisexual young men from the OutZone Youth Project (part of PACE – London’s leading provider of health & well-being services for the LGBT communities) are on a mission to raise money to help ensure vital aspects of the service continue to be offered to all who need them. Every year, hundreds of young men make use of its weekly youth groups, telephone/online support and specialist one2one service, regardless of whereabouts in London they come from. OutZone has worked with well over 100 different young men in 2008/09, from all over the capital, and beyond.

Like many charities, OutZone is feeling the effects of ‘credit crunch’, and as a result, may have to consider ‘rationing its services’ based on which London borough a young person comes from. Over the last few weeks and months, youth workers, peer mentors and group members have been putting their heads together to come up with a fund raising strategy to help the project generate additional funding. OutZone members have already set up their very own EBay For Charity store, added a secure online donations service to their website (www.outzone.org) and are planning to hold other community-based fundraising initiatives over the coming months.

“When I talk about my work to friends, the vast majority wish they’d had access to a project like OutZone when they were younger or just coming out”

PACE Senior Youth Worker, Andy Higgins, said: “Wouldn’t it be great if London’s ‘adult’ gay community came together to show it values the work we do with London’s gay teens? When I talk about my work to my friends, the vast majority wish they’d had access to a project like OutZone when they were younger or just coming out. The confidence and social skills gay teenagers learn at OutZone, from being around others ‘just like them’, is essential if we want the next generation to reach their potential - and feel happy, healthy and valued members of society.

“I remember how unhappy I felt about so many aspects of my life before I found OutZone - and thought I’d always feel like that”

OutZone Peer Mentor, Jason Ramdoo (18), said: “I’m glad to get involved in helping to come up with ideas to generate funds for the project - I’ve had first-hand experience of just what an amazing project OutZone is. I remember how unhappy I felt about so many aspects of my life before I found out about the project - and thought I’d always feel like that. I can’t thank OutZone enough for all the support and help I’ve been given. The youth workers really do help us feel better about ourselves and always keep us smiling! It’s reassuring to know there is someone out there who actually cares about how we feel. I’ve also made some very good friends at OutZone, some of the closest friends I’ve ever had.

“28% have attempted suicide by the time they reach us, 27% feel isolated most of the time and 19% are deliberately hurting themselves”

PACE CEO, Tim Franks commented: “Our specialist youth workers at OutZone engage with some of the most vulnerable young men in London - Over the last year or so, we’ve been conducting a comprehensive needs assessment of all young people who access the PACE Youth Network. The initial results reveal some worrying findings: Of the 141 assessments completed to date, 28% have attempted suicide by the time they reach us, 27% feel isolated often or most of the time and 19% are deliberately hurting themselves. We hope to publish a full report shortly.

There are various ways the capital’s ‘pink public’ can support London’s gay teens:

  • Online: Visit www.outzone.org and click on the DONATE NOW banner on the home page. A safe and secure way to make a donation towards our work, by debit or credit card, no matter how large or small. Every £1 donated in this way means we receive £1.28 (with gift aid).
  • On eBay/Facebook: Visit our online shop and bag yourself a bargain: http://myworld.ebay.co.uk/outzone.london or find us on Facebook for ‘mates rates’.
  • By cheque/PO: Cheques/postal orders can be sent to: OutZone, 34 Hartham Road, London, N7 9JL
  • In kind: Donate stuff for us to sell – Contact us if you’d like to donate items for our online shop.
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Registered charity No. 801271

The 'OutZone Kitty Fundraising Committee' is a user-led initiative to help secure additional funding for the OutZone Youth Project. OutZone is part of PACE. © PACE 2009

OutZone is proudly supported by:
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